Friday, July 31, 2009

Cold hands, warm heart

I have to get a teapot that whistles. On a disturbing number of occasions recently, I’ve forgotten that I set some water on the stove to boil and become absorbed in another task, only to have one of those “D’oh!” moments some time later. Sheesh.

It’s Friday night and I am tucked nicely in my bed with mint and honey tea, some junk food, and my laptop. Ahhh, that’s nice. Porto Alegre has had quite a chilly spell, as we end our second straight week with brisk nights in the 30s/40s. I know that one of these days I’ll wake up to one of those random 80-degree days that usually break up the winter here, but for now, I’ll just have to appreciate waking up to another sunny—if chilly—day.

On one of the last gorgeous Sundays, a couple weeks ago, I took a long, lovely stroll by the riverfront and documented it for you. I started at Usina do Gasômetro, a dis-used thermo-electric power plant that has been renovated into a cultural space; it now houses art expos, plays and movies, concerts, a café, a bookshop, and even a wine cellar.

Vendors are sprinkled along the miles of pedestrian path. I thought this man had an endearing smile—and his espetinhos de bife, frango, ou coração (beef, chicken, or chicken heart kebabs) smelled great—so I bought a frango and cup of quentão (mulled wine) from him and asked if I could take his picture.

There are popcorn, cotton candy, and peanut vendors; you can grab a coconut water, beer, or soda if you like. And if you misplaced your pinwheel…

On Sundays, the road adjacent to the path is closed to vehicles to accommodate all the city-dwellers that flock to the riverfront to meander its green space…

(Notice the “Tree of Love” in the foreground!)

...get some exercise in the skate park or the various sports courts…

…or just sit sipping chimarrão

…and awaiting another picturesque sunset.

If I had been fifteen seconds faster on the draw, I would have snapped the perfect shot of the five Brigada Militar officers taking sunset pics with their cell phones.

Aww, those old softies!

Warmly,

Loquinha Gauchinha